Wake Up Already

Then the guide announced: “They do a great job preparing you for grad school here. So when you go, you’ll be ready.”

“When you go?” We heard this at several schools. When did grad school become an expectation? For which careers? All of them?

In the twenty-first century. Yes, for all that can actually be called “careers.” Wake up already. It makes as much sense to bemoan this new reality as it is to fret over the invention of a light-bulb. Yes, candlelight was way cooler but let’s get over it once and for all.

I linked to the post but I don’t recommend it because it can’t be of interest to anybody but the author’s psychiatrist. Or people who are fascinating by parental negative programming and ways in which parents create intolerable anxiety and intense feelings of guilt in their children.

9 thoughts on “Wake Up Already”

  1. It makes sense coming from this particular author, but truthfully, this woman is small potatoes at creating feelings of intolerable anxiety and guilt in her offspring.

    Like

  2. “We do a great job of preparing you for grad school” is code for “Our degrees aren’t prechewed mush” and “Some of professors are actually on campus for office hours.”

    Like

  3. Funny thing.. making a “graduate degree” the norm… one of the biggest factors in the inequality that our nation. I mean, I guess good for me (if I liked to play by the rules.. i like to re-make the rules better 😉 ), as I am a great test taker, have a good resume, 3.9 from a pretty elite state institution (top 50 school.. no harvard or anything) and a good work pedigree etc. (I say all this to avoid the commentary that I am “jealous”.. or “ignorant”.. or unable to have a good career worth having”).

    We need to move to one of two models. Either college is nearly free / HEAVILY covered (like to my understanding it is in Europe).. or we need to let the semi-free markets work (note I said semi-free.. as no system is perfect). What that would entail is likely most bachelors degrees would go from 4 years to between 18 -24 months… and / or more of an apprenticeship model in the United States.

    The fatal flaw in higher education is debt and the “lock-in” effect. When you make individuals spend 6 years (minimum if you say a masters degree is necessary) and perhaps up to $50k+ or more in debbt.. you DRASTICALLY lower their choices in life and flexibility. Anyone CAN ovvercome these burdens.. but not easy overall.

    I apologize for the long rant.. I guess what I am saying is that this mother’s rant about the college system seems just. Ironically, she seems to support a lot of the things that I think you do (not trying to appropriate your opinion.. please tell me if i am wrong). She doesn’t really want adjuncts. She doesn’t want a waste of money on administration. Or lavish buildings…. she thinks these are all things which drastically overinflate the cost and decreaase return on investment and learning for her child?

    Where am I wrong in all of this?

    Like

    1. ” What that would entail is likely most bachelors degrees would go from 4 years to between 18 -24 months… and / or more of an apprenticeship model in the United States.”

      – Even 4 years are barely enough to get students to get kind of, a bit, somewhat prepared for the job market. In 24 months it simply can’t be done.

      “The fatal flaw in higher education is debt and the “lock-in” effect. When you make individuals spend 6 years (minimum if you say a masters degree is necessary) and perhaps up to $50k+ or more in debbt.. you DRASTICALLY lower their choices in life and flexibility. ”

      – It is absolutely possible to go to college in the US and emerge with no or very little debt. My students do this all the time. State colleges are not hugely expensive. All you need to come to study at my school – in those rare cases when you get zero financial support – is $4,000 per semester. Of course, it entails working while going to school but for most people college is not living in a beautiful dorm and going to keg parties. This false image of super-expensive college comes from people projecting the image of Harvard or Yale on every college in the country. But that’s a mistake. I also want to remind everybody that I have 5 degrees that didn’t cost me any money or get me into any debt.

      “She doesn’t really want adjuncts. She doesn’t want a waste of money on administration. Or lavish buildings”

      – If she didn’t want these things she’d be doing something about them. But she can’t even make herself ask a question because of how much she “cares” about the issue. What she really doesn’t want is her kid enjoying college. This is what this all is about.

      Like

      1. The funny thing is that these parents send us kids who are not even aware of the difference between a text message or an email and who are shattered emotionally and psychologically by the rants as the one I linked to. And then it’s our fault for needing more than 15 minutes to prepare them to function in the modern workplace.

        Like

      2. Average tuition is closer to $11,000, with fees and books closer to $13k in state where I am. So a significant amount. In all practicality working for most (less than 20 hours a week.. which is pretty fair I think if you really think the education is demanding and useful not really fair to assume someone will / should work more than 20 hours per week during school year)… will hopefully cover room and board and food and miscelllaneous and even say generously half of the other… then that is $6k a year.. or $25-$30k in debt. Not insurmontable… but meaningful. Ultimately more people should consider commmunity college and/or commuting one could argue.. and that may not be a bad idea.

        Nonetheless..finances are a big issue.. and overall we do a bad job as this country preparing kids before college, but still college should (and eventually will be .. maybe will take next decade to do so)… quicker, more dynamic, and more tailored.

        Curious though if you think the issues i mentioned … adjuncts.. excess admin.. and excess facilite… surely they add to cost. Question is do you think they are justified? From what i know from your blog i wouldn’t think you do… so isn’t that at least a starting point to bringnig cost / value more into line?

        Like

        1. With all of the bellyaching about adjuncts, nobody wants to discuss what the real issue is and why it is impossible not to hire adjuncts. That is a conversation nobody is interested in having, no matter how many times I have tried to start it. This is why I’m so annoyed with the linked post. I don’t believe that people who write endless whiny posts and create a huge drama but never do anything to solve the problem really want it to be solved. If you don’t even dare to ask a single question because of some completely irrational fantasy and a weird persecutory problem, then whose fault is it?

          “Nonetheless..finances are a big issue.. and overall we do a bad job as this country preparing kids before college, but still college should (and eventually will be .. maybe will take next decade to do so)… quicker, more dynamic, and more tailored.”

          – I don’t understand what dynamic and tailored mean in this context, but let’s forget about quicker right now. We are in an era of an ever-longer childhood. If in your and my generation childhood lasted until 30, it will now last until 40. And that isn’t a bad thing.

          I have not seen any excessive facilities except at this one college in Oklahoma that built an ENORMOUS stadium nobody has any hope of ever filling. That was obviously a stupid decision.

          Administrators proliferate like fleas on a stray dog. But once again, whenever I try to ask a question about it, everybody shushes me down. So again, I gather that everybody is happy with the state of affairs.

          Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.